FRIDAY FX: BETA Look it Over

A beta reader can help you polish your manuscript and get you that much closer to seeing your brain child on a bookshelf. It’s great to have multiple beta readers because reading, as an art form, is subjective, and you’d want to cover all your bases to spot and correct every typo and wonky phrase.

It’s such a common occurrence to miss the teeniest details, such as a missing comma, writing to instead of too (or vice versa) when you’ve read and reread your work dozens of times. Beta readers can also help offer suggestions for all the times you repeated a word or phrase. They can also help you tighten up your sentences and clear up any concepts that get lost in translation.

Fresh eyes will allow others to let you know what you’ve missed and also provide insight on readability from their perspective. It’s essential to know if what you want to share with your audience effectively and accurately reaches them as intended.

This month I resumed my beta reader duties and I already have a few beta reading requests lined up for next month. Aside from building a powerful network of fellow writers, it’s also given me an opportunity to read with a writer’s mindset. Taking a break from my work to read someone else’s has allowed my brain to reset and to be more receptive to seeing where to improve aspects of their story that I might not notice right away in my manuscript.

With any skill, practice is important in order to improve and expand your knowledge base. While helping others with their writing, I’m also helping my own. You see the patterns that work and those to avoid. Reciprocity is wonderful. Everyone improves their skill set and is closer to their publication goals.

Do you like to beta read for others? What have you learned from your beta readers? I know they’re invaluable as they are essentially my focus group for a potential audience and it’s always a good thing to have your story double and triple checked so that you’re putting your best work forward and showcasing your talent in the best way possible.

Stay creative, stay weird, be kind to yourself and others.

Until next time,

T out.

FRIDAY FX: Make Your Presence Known

Social media has never been more impactful than it has in the past few years. The world has come together to discuss, debate, and challenge many social issues. It has given us a sense of community and inclusion in a time when a global pandemic is keeping us apart.

There are so many formats in social media that it’s easy to get lost, but, if you find methods that work for you as a writer, social media is a solid way to get your name out there. This website currently houses my blog, but I’ll be reworking the site to accommodate any of my published works and future related writing projects. I have an Author Page on Facebook, and I also created an Instagram account. On Facebook, I’ve joined groups that allow users to join as a Page versus personal account, and I also cross post whenever there’s something new on the blog here. I intend to use Instagram for book promotion and other writing-related posts that are more visual. For now, it’s on standby.

As mentioned previously, I’ve joined writing communities via Facebook where we share ideas, ask questions, and provide feedback to fellow writers. Goodreads helps me track the books I’ve read, want to read, and what other people I follow recommend. The To Be Read Pile never dwindles. Other writing based websites offer events, webinars, courses and various opportunities to interact with like-minded individuals.

Recently, however, I’ve re-entered the wonderful world of Twitter. While Facebook requires a different type of involvement, for direct interaction with people in the industry, I’m most active on Twitter, at the moment. It’s more than just liking or retweeting a someone’s tweet. There are great opportunities to engage in some seriously infotaining dialogue with people from around the world. You can build connections, find beta readers or critique partners, and learn what it is literary agents are looking for, so you know whom to query when the time comes.

At present, I don’t have any intention of using a pseudonym or nom de plume for my books, regardless if they’re for kids or adults. My name is my brand. I mentioned in the last post how it’s important to think of my writing as a business. There needs to be consistency across all platforms. While there’s been a change in readership directly on the blog in the last month or so, I’ve seen an increase of people engaging with the blogs via other platform links found on Facebook and Twitter, for example.

I’m still uncertain if there’s a problem with WordPress or if people just shifted their interests and aren’t connecting with my posts of late. While that could be the case, I need to remind myself that my writing will not reach everyone or please everyone. That doesn’t mean that I should stop with the blog or completely change the type of content I’m writing about. I’ve maintained a solid blogging schedule since November of last year and given The Life and Times of Tonette dela Luna in, say, the last five years, at least, this is an amazing feat.

I’m gonna keep on keepin’ on and if you enjoy the content, I’m glad. And I thank you for reading along on the journey. If you’d like to connect with me on social media, I would love to know what compels you as a writer, reader, and/or lover of the arts. What are your favorite platforms? Are there others not mentioned that you’d recommend to a writer? There are a few others that I’m still trying to establish (and navigate), such as Discord, tumblr, and Reddit, but for now, you can find me at:

Facebook Author Page: Tonette dela Luna

Twitter: @tonettedelaluna

Goodreads: Tonette dela Luna

Instagram: @tonettedelaluna

… and of course, I’m here every week and will continue to share the ups, downs, lefts, and rights of my writing journey, putting it out into the ether and making my presence known.

Stay creative, stay weird, be kind to yourself and others.

Until next time,

T out.

December Goals



SavvyAuthorsEntangled Smackdown and NaNoWriMo.

When my butt wasn’t kicked, I, too, kicked butt when it came to November’s writing challenges. A couple thousand words shy of 75K, the writing continues.

Plenty of writerly activities to keep me busy during the zaniest month of the year. I can already hear those sleigh bells as I draft this post.

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November Goals


Although it was in the final stretch of the month that I learned of the news, I was able to get switched to a more appropriate imprint for November’s Entangled Smackdown over at SavvyAuthors. I’ll be writing this novel for NaNoWriMo, as well. That will be the writing in the ‘fresh words department.’

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I dove into the world of Savvy Authors last November, where their NaNo Boot Camp gave me double the reason to hammer out my YA Thriller. A great added dose of accountability, twice the intensity, and the benefits of global cheerleading. Yesterday, I declared my love for all things NaNoWriMo. In case you missed it, you can read about it here. My love is also strong for Savvy Authors. Here are just a few reasons why YOU NEED TO JOIN THIS AMAZING WRITING COMMUNITY.

1) IT’S AN AMAZING WRITING COMMUNITY. Yes. It bears repeating. I haven’t met any of them in person yet, but we all support each other like we’ve been friends for years. Constant feedback and encouragement fill the warm atmosphere. Come on, it’s in their tagline: writers helping writers. That’s what we do everyday. Regardless of genre, we all come together to show our love for storytelling.

2) IMPRESSIVE EDUCATION. I’ve learned a lot more as a writer in the past six months than I have all my life. I appreciate traditional education. I love and have several books on writing craft. But there’s something to be said about the innovation of an online course. You have the flexibility to cater to your own busy schedule and still be accountable for your deadlines. Everything is there to help your writing go further. How many times have you bookmarked an article or purchased reference material but never actually got around to reading it? *GASP* I’ll admit, shamefully, I am guilty of this. The interactive community keeps my interest and I’m networking at the same time. Bonus. And if I fall behind in my schedule, the instructor and class are there to support me. What’s great is that these instructors know their stuff because they, too, are writers. We all appreciate the struggle. We all appreciate the art form.

3) VALUE. The basic membership is free and already you have a treasure trove of craft resources, networking opportunities. Wednesday night chats offer a revolving door of guest speakers from the industry. Real-time education, Q&A, and overall great conversation. I file that under INFOTAINMENT. Premium memberships are worth it, too, because the already amazingly low price on workshops gets even cheaper. It truly pays off because you receive hands-on instruction, peer and instructor feedback, and guidance towards meeting your writing goals. Because I dare to push myself, I tend to enrol in more workshops than a normal human should take at one time. Doesn’t stop me. I’ve learned so much and my writing’s come a long way because of Savvy Authors. Took my first class in November and I’ve been going strong ever since.

4) BOOT CAMP. My second Boot Camp since NaNo last November. Had such a great experience, I had to say yes. You have teams, you encourage each other to reach daily goals. There are even prizes and other great incentives to keep the momentum going. I must be clear, Boot Camp is not for the lightweights. We’ve been told there’s no whining in Boot Camp. But from last year’s amazing results, there’s definitely a lot of writing in Boot Camp. SAVVY AUTHORS APRIL BOOT CAMP is sure to keep my writing goals in check next month.

5) PITCH PERFECT. Now, one downfall of having several completed drafts but none of them fully revised yet? Missing out on April’s other awesometastic event at Savvy Authors. If you go and check out at least one thing on their site, do yourself a favor and get in on this FANTASTIC OPPORTUNITY. Take your novel to new heights and join! I know I’ll have pitches ready the next time this rolls around. Agents and Editors from various publications ready to hear your pitches all month. APRIL’S PITCH PERFECT. It’s the Disneyland of pitch opportunities.

So many good things to say. So excited to be a member of this writing community. This is just a taste of what they’ve got. If you’re serious about your writing and want to publish your work, check out Savvy Authors. You’ll be glad you did.